A private house for a young German family has been built on a south-facing site with uninterrupted valley views. The site falls 18 metres below street level, so the roof terrace, with space for four parked cars, becomes the arrival level from the street. Above the terrace, a partially glazed steel structure provides covered access to the main entrance and the two side entrances to east and west. From this level a ramp leads down through the levels of the house to the lower garden terrace.

At lower garden level, the house opens out towards the south with living areas, bedrooms and dining areas overlooking the garden. The main living area is the family domain containing the book-lined hearth and the open kitchen either side of a double height living space. The owner has a personal interest in cooking, which is reflected in a professionally equipped kitchen with a very efficient extract system. The upper level includes a housekeeper’s flat, four children’s bedrooms and a small library.

The southern facade is completely glazed with alternating transparent and translucent panels to vary the quality of light and privacy.

The unusual combination of inside and outside circulation enables the house to offer the family and its friends an exceptional degree of community, as well as respecting the privacy of the individuals.

Sketches + Drawings

Development

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 1992
  • Completion: 1994
  • Area: 750m²
  • Structural Engineer: Boll und Partner / Ove Arup & Partners
  • Quantity Surveyor: Schreiter GmbH
  • M+E Engineer: Rawe und Partner
  • Landscape Architect: Doktor Bernhard Korte
  • Additional Consultants: PFI, Manfred Krausse